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1. What is your opinion of the Patriot Act as outlined in the lecture. Do you feel it was necessary to pass this act to ensure American homeland security? Explain your reasoning.
2. You’ve read in the lecture the reasons behind the collapse of the real estate market as well as the financial institutions involved. Whose fault was this – the federal government, the lenders and brokers, the consumers themselves? All of the above? Explain your reasoning.
3. What is your opinion of the somewhat new financial instrument the credit default swap? Should this be legal? Explain your answer and also refer to the potential conflict of interest investment firms had when financing a mortgage it knew would never be paid off and then buying an insurance policy that would pay it off when it went into default (credit default swap).
4. Did the U.S. and its allies have a right to use military force to oust Gadhafi in Libya? What if another country felt that the U.S. was mistreating its citizens? Would you feel comfortable with that country using military force to expel the U.S.’s current president? Explain your reasoning.
5. Why do you suppose the U.S. finds itself in a tough spot (‘between a rock and a hard spot’) in the Mideast as well as North Africa? What do you feel it should do to ensure peace and acceptance of the U.S. in those regions? 6. After reading the two articles concerning the US involvement in Iraq what appears to be each author’s main concern about the military presence of the U.S. in Iraq? Do you agree with the authors’ assessments? Explain your responses.